One of 330 Made: Wrecked 1960 Triumph Italia 2000

This unusual 1960 Triumph Italia 2000 coupe is one of just 330 cars made, penned by renowned designer Giovanni Michelotti and assembled atop a Triumph TR3 chassis. The design is still striking today, and one we rarely see in any condition given its rarity. The history of the model was plagued by conditions outside of the car’s control, resulting in significantly scaled back production expectations and a greatly diminished chance at success. Still, among Triumph fans, the car is a bit of a white whale given the attraction of affordable underpinnings with an exotic design on top. This one will need some work, having been wrecked many years prior. Find the Italia here on eBay with one bid to $2,000 and a Buy-It-Now of $16K.

I am almost 100 percent certain I saw this car passed around on Facebook after it was discovered rotting in a field. However, a bit of digging shows we featured it here on Barn Finds in 2018. As you’ll see in that post, not much has changed, other than getting some wheels underneath it and putting the numbers matching engine back under the hood after it was presumably removed from the mildly customized Triumph TR3 that accompanied it in the Minnesota field. The story goes that after it was imported from Italy with a service member, the Italia hit a pole at a high rate of speed and was left for dead.

The interior is stripped, with no signs of the original seats or door panels. Carpets are gone, too, perhaps to show that the floor isn’t entirely gone. The remainder of red carpeting around the transmission tunnel is a sad reminder of how pretty this car must have been when it was new. The inspiration behind the Italia was to build a car with the looks of a vehicle you’d see on a rotating display at a major car show with the reliable and cheap-to-repair mechanical bits of a Triumph. Unfortunately, the Italia wasn’t cheap to buy, with a $1,000 premium added to the price of a standard TR3.

The seller notes that a certificate of authenticity will be included with the sale, which is certainly a nice-to-have for anyone that decides to take on a restoration this ambitious. The car is rusty, bent, and stripped of some of its more important parts, and given spares barely existed when it was new, repairing the sheetmetal will be an extremely costly and time-consuming process, and despite its rarity and connections to Michelotti, it doesn’t have the kind of price tag when finished that will come anywhere close to justifying the time and cost needed to repair it properly. No one has taken a chance on it since it was discovered in 2018; will it continue to languish like this?

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    I hope not. As the current owner of Italia #317 since 1987 and the former owner of #322, I can tell you that these rare cars are far more than the sum of their parts! Don’t let the lack of gauges worry you; they are largely standard TR3 items. And Italia owners have a lot of small-scale manufacturing going on to make up parts that don’t exist.

    Like 23
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    These are drop dead gorgeous cars.
    Moss Motors has one in their showroom in
    Petersburg,Virginia.

    Like 1
    • JiminRichmond

      @angliagt – the one at Moss has recently gone home and is being put back on the road.

  3. Steve Bush Member

    HUH? $16k for this? Sharp car that when new looked like a scaled down Ferrari or Maserati. But greedy seller here is nuts if he thinks he’ll get much more than the current bid of $2075 for this rusty wrecked POS example that he apparently picked up for virtually nothing. No wonder he has a 50 percent positive feedback rating.

    Like 6
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I think you’ll be surprised. My guess is $10k. We’ll see.

      Like 4
    • backintheusa

      “No wonder he has a 50 percent positive feedback rating.”
      In fairness to the seller, eBay bases its ratings on feedback received in the last 12 months. While this seller has 55 older positive ratings, there are only two in the past year: one positive, one negative. In total, the seller is at 98%. The car doesn’t interest me regardless, but I wouldn’t get too concerned about the 50% rating.

  4. KKW

    Who was left for dead, the service member, or the car? Lol. Put it back in the field, and let the earth finish consuming it.

    Like 4
  5. Beyfon

    Yes, I was thinking this was for Jamie to comment on.
    Sorry to see an Italia in this condition but certainly fixable!

    Like 3
  6. Bob Member

    I recall an Alfa Romeo in similar condition that was brought back from the dead. It too had a collapsed roof and tons of other damage. There may be a Youtube video on that restoration. This Italia is far too valuable and much too beautiful not to restore. It will take deep pockets, though.

    Like 2
    • Elanguy

      Was that this Giulietta Sprint Speciale?. That was pretty amazing, but I am guessing the owner who restored it ended up underwater.
      https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1965-alfa-romeo-sprint-spaciale-2/

      And I hate to admit this, those Alfa SS’s are worth just a bit more than Italias, certainly when I owned and Italia I would have preferred certain Alfas.

  7. Andrew S Mace Member

    Hagerty currents rates these from $46,000 (#4 Fair) to $120,000 (#1 Concours); even at a Buy it now price of $16,000, there’s some room there for the very skilled hobbyist or the customer with big eyes and bigger pockets to get this car back to respectability! Back in the late 1970s, these cars often sold for hundreds of dollars. The market has gotten rather better ;) , and I suspect there’s still time for more appreciation before these level off? (Point of fact: I’m still angry with my ex-brother-in-law for buying and selling one of these back in those late 1970s — for hundreds of dollars — before I even got a chance to see it, let alone think about acquiring it!)

    Like 1
  8. Maestro1 Member

    It’s a major project, the price is too high, but I’m with Jamie and thank you Jeff for the post, it’s very pretty and certainly worth saving.

    Like 1
  9. gaspumpchas

    Sorry to see a car like this is such bad shape; if it had been stored in a dry area it would have been in better shape, but im sure being in a field didnt help it. Good luck if you decide to go for it. I’m sure a good bodyman can fix it. Good luck and stay safe
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  10. Martin Horrocks

    On a project like this, does it matter much if you pay $3000 or $13000? Unless you know what you are doing, stay away. If you do, you can make something out of this. Glass and trim would be biggest obvious concern. It maybe not realistic to build it as factory perfect, but as Jamie Palmer says, Triumph parts will often do instead.

    I still don´t sleep well from achieving the lowest price received at auction for an Italia in the last 10 years. Car was complete and unmessed with, needed full restoration but expected much more than the 22000GBP it was hammered down for. The wrong people in the room on the day. But that car was very expensively rebuilt in Switzerland, so there´s hope for this one too.

    Like 2
  11. JMB#7

    The styling looks to share a nice blend between a TR4 and a Sunbeam Tiger. I like it.

    Like 2
  12. J Jefferson

    Ran when parked and it will all buff out! Worth $150,000 when restored and would only cost $300,000 to get it there.

    Like 1
  13. V8roller

    Unlike many exotics, the mechanicals are cheap and readily available.
    And the frame is quite basic.

    Just the body and interior. Yes, it will be expensive but perfectly doable, and it will be done.

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